It was a mistake to release documents relating to Gyurcsány’s speech of May 26, 2006

I predict that Viktor Orbán will regret, if he has not already done so, his decision to dredge up those two documents that Sándor Pintér released two days ago. They were supposed to prove that Ferenc Gyurcsány was himself responsible for his infamous speech of 2006 becoming public. Not that, even if it were true, which it is not, it would make any difference. It is not really news. News would be if we learned who the people were who were responsible for the theft of the tape from either MSZP headquarters or the prime minister’s office.  The release of the documents was supposed to serve only one purpose: to remind the public during the election campaign of Gyurcsány’s unforgivable sins against the nation. It seems to me that instead of achieving the desired outcome Viktor Orbán is now facing uncomfortable questions about his and his party’s role in this whole sordid affair.

We learned nothing new from the documents about the circumstances of the leak, but we found out something that Viktor Orbán has steadfastly denied ever since September 2006. For the first time a Fidesz politician, Lajos Kósa, admitted yesterday that they knew of the tape’s existence earlier. Not that we didn’t suspect as much. Most commentators who analyzed the events prior to the siege of the Hungarian Television building came to the conclusion that Viktor Orbán already knew about the contents of the tape in July 2006 and that by the beginning of August the Fidesz team managed to lay their hands on the actual tape. This timeline was also assumed by József Debreczeni, who relied heavily on a blogger’s detailed description of the events, available online, for his book A 2006-os ősz. Orbán decided to withhold the release of the tape until the time was ripe. And that day was September 17, just as Viktor Orbán was en route to Brussels.

Now, for the first time, Lajos Kósa under the pretty aggressive questioning of Antónia Mészáros of ATV admitted that they made several copies of the speech and delivered them to the more important media outlets, including Magyar Rádió, where two or three sentences were lifted from a long speech. So, instead of learning anything new about Ferenc Gyurcsány’s complicity, we are now faced with a Fidesz admission of something we until now only surmised. That was Fidesz’s first own goal, and more may follow because questions are pouring in.

How is it possible, for example, that Viktor Orbán weeks before the siege predicted what would happen on September 19? Tamás Lajos Szalay of Népszabadság calls attention to a three-part article of Orbán published in Magyar Nemzet entitled “Watershed.” The first part was published on July 29, the second on August 5, and the third on September 9. Why the long gap between the second and third articles? If it is true that the tape arrived sometime in early August, it is likely that Orbán had to rewrite his article to reflect his new found knowledge. In any case, Orbán in his piece exhibits prophetic faculties when he sees only two possibilities. He envisions unrest unless “we find a peaceful way out of the crisis.” The peaceful way was the Gyurcsány government’s resignation.

Most likely not too many people remember the tape sent to several radio stations in the name of “The Warriors of Democracy” which sent a chilling message to the government. On September 14 a distorted male voice called on the government to resign. If they don’t do so by September 20, Budapest will be in flames. Most commentators dismissed the threat as the work of a crackpot, but in light of what happened on September 19 I wouldn’t dismiss it. The police at the time said something about a crime that can be viewed as a terrorist threat, but by January 2007 they were no longer investigating the case. We will never know who the warriors of democracy were or whether they had any connection to Fidesz. But the long-forgotten warriors of democracy cropped up again in today’s Népszabadság.

Szabolcs Kerék-Bárczy expressed the opinion of the Demokratikus Koalíció on the matter. They demand the release of all documents. He pointed out that with Kósa’s admission we now know that Viktor Orbán has been lying about his own involvement in this affair. “It has become clear that Hungary has a liar as prime minister.” Admittedly, not exactly a new discovery. Another observer, István Gusztos, remarked in Gépnarancs that while the released documents tell us nothing about Ferenc Gyurcsány, they do tell us a lot about Fidesz, which “had a determinant role in the outbreak of disturbances.”

The next step will be a serious second look at the football hooligans’ role on September 19, 2006 during the siege of the television building. In Hungary the worst football hooligans are the fans of Ferencváros (Fradi). The Fradi fans were in a foul mood at the time because their favorite team had lost its place in Division I. Orbán, who is an Újpest and Videoton fan, paid a surprise visit to the Ferencváros-Jászapáti match, their first one in Division II. He settled in the middle of the Fradi fans and even gave an interview to reporters present. He expressed his disgust at what had happened to Fradi, which was in his opinion “a scandal” (disznóság). Commentators were a bit surprised at Orbán’s sudden appearance at a Fradi game. The precise connection between this visit and the Fradi fans’ active participation in the siege of Hungarian TV is not known, but in all probability the two occurrences were not unconnected–especially in light of a later development when as a result of a new investigation of the case during the Orbán government, the sentences already passed on a handful of hooligans by the courts were annulled. The suspicion lingers that those half-crazed, drunk men had been assured ahead of time that their actions would have no consequences once Viktor Orbán was the prime minister of Hungary.

MTV ostrom

All in all, I believe that it would have been better for Viktor Orbán, however fervently he wants to “get” Ferenc Gyurcsány, to let sleeping dogs lie. There is just too much muck around Fidesz headquarters which seems to surface every time the subject of Balatonőszöd comes up.

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petofi
Guest

Of course, the real dirt about this whole affair is not that Orban was centrally involved or that he lied through his teeth…but that members of MSZP stabbed Gyurcsany in the back by passing on the tape in the first place. This dove-tails with the notion that Gyurcsany was being undermined continually by members of his own party who wanted nothing of reform and honesty in government. This is the real story. Sadly, those MSZP figures have not been
‘outed’ and still find their home in the bosom of the party. This fact is sufficient to thoroughly confused the hapless electorate who will, resignedly, go on to support Orban if for no other reason than that he tells them how heroic and exceptional they are. In short, the electorate
gets screwed both ways but at least Orban big heartedly feeds them agreeable fantasies.

spectator
Guest

They must love Kósa pretty much by the Fidesz, if he still has the possibility to talk in public – just about anything..!

By the other hand it will barely reach those with similar level of intellect as the great man himself, their true belief and devotion remain unchallenged and rock solid. And just as bright.

Mr. Paul
Guest

“members of MSZP stabbed Gyurcsany in the back by passing on the tape in the first place. This dove-tails with the notion that Gyurcsany was being undermined continually by members of his own party who wanted nothing of reform and honesty in government. This is the real story. Sadly, those MSZP figures have not been
‘outed’ and still find their home in the bosom of the party.”

There were two tapes recording the speech. One was kept in a safe at MSZP and one was kept in a safe at the office of MEH (“Miniszterelnöki Hivatal”). To this there are different versions from different people as to which was the tape that leaked after all. There is no consensus even at this most simple question, which was rather easy to investigate. Because of this reason I find it highly improbable that any “MSZP figures” could be outed for certain, when there is no certainty in questions much much simpler than that.

Mr. Paul
Guest

“To this ” = “To this day”

HiBoM
Guest

The only people who are going to be remotely influenced by this “revelation” (which frankly was common knowledge) are those who would not vote for Orbán in the first place. So I’m sure Orbán has no regrets and there will be no consequences that impinge on him in any way whatsoever.

When the speech was released, I was very supportive of Gyurcsány and felt it was great to hear such an honest speech. But the huge mistake he made was not to resign. He could have done with at least a degree of honour. But to cling on, expecting the electorate to be grateful for him attempting to cleaning up the mess of his own devious making, was an egotistical miscalculation and the reason Fidesz won such a landslide.

lutra lutra
Guest

HiBoM, I thought that Gyurcsány’s biggest mistake wasn’t caused by his own ego but by expecting that his ministerial colleagues, who clearly didn’t have a clue about how to avert Hungary’s looming economic crisis, would do the decent thing and resign, compounded by his lack of nerve by not sacking them when it became clear they wouldn’t. Politics isn’t a good profession for nice guys, and Orbán has never even pretended to be nice,

Paul
Guest

HiBoM :
The only people who are going to be remotely influenced by this “revelation” (which frankly was common knowledge) are those who would not vote for Orbán in the first place. So I’m sure Orbán has no regrets and there will be no consequences that impinge on him in any way whatsoever.
When the speech was released, I was very supportive of Gyurcsány and felt it was great to hear such an honest speech. But the huge mistake he made was not to resign. He could have done with at least a degree of honour. But to cling on, expecting the electorate to be grateful for him attempting to cleaning up the mess of his own devious making, was an egotistical miscalculation and the reason Fidesz won such a landslide.

Spot on. I’m afraid Éva’s understandable desire to wish the worst on Orbán has temporally blinded her to the realities of politics in Hungary today. This will make little if any impact and have absolutely no effect on the election.

luddite
Guest

Note the fact that Orban is always out of the country (or somehow missing) when something big takes places. He like to have what they call a “plausible denial.”

He did not sign any Paks 2 agreements, but he did not even vote for it, similarly to other fundamental (to Fidesz politics) laws and decisions, at the voting of which he was absent due to “important prior engagements”.

He is a smart lawyer and wants to avoid responsibility in a Kiev like situation. He wasn’t even there, dude, how could he be responsible?

Paul
Guest

Where’s the photo from? It looks staged (judging from the number of people taking photos), and it reminds me very much of similar photos from the London riots of a year or two ago.

In fact, that looks very much like the helmet of a British Bobby in the background!

Nádás
Guest

Regardless of the fairness or unfairness, real or perceived, in Gyurcsány’s treatment by Fidesz, he is still tremendously unpopular with a huge segment of the Hungarian electorate. He represents an enormous liability to the MSzP and to the opposition in general, and lacks credibility. He, along with the other dinosaurs of an earlier era – Bokros, Fodor, Kuncze – should set his ego aside and fade into the background, at least for the time being, where he can be far more helpful and much less a distraction.

HiBoM
Guest

Nádás, I absolutely agree with you with regards to Fodor, Gyurcsány and Kuncze. They are all failed politicians. I would take issue with you about Bokros though. He is one of the very few people in Hungarian politicians who was a success. My biggest problem with Gyurcsány is not so much the Öszöd business but that he had his chance, was PM for four years, and was a total failure at running the country. Great in head to head debates with Orbán but that is not what a PM’s prinicipal task

Dr. L. PETROVICS Ofner
Guest
Dr. L. PETROVICS Ofner
Petöfi observations absolutely correct. ‘Gyurcsany was being undermined continually by members of his own party…This is the real story. Those MSZP figures have not been ‘outed’ and still find their home in the bosom of the party.” The populace know this, and ask, Why should that be, when he is the Head. They also know of the unfortunate background in which Gyurcsany grew up, his father a petty criminal imprisoned several times. His mom a washerwoman. So they answer, correctly, The fish rots from the Head down. The very most he and his own mafia organization –quite in line with Balint’s simplistic discoloration as to what is going on here –can do is paralyze present progress, undo it, and achieve what no one desires, a Fidesz-Jobbik coalition. The populace also knows this, but I am very afraid that any western readers who take Spectrum seriously may be misled. Let us pray they are NOT influencing policy from such faith-based opinions, reflecting little more than an ongoing repetition of embittered belief systems to undo personal grievance.. GE set up a GE for CEE hub this week in Budapest, over 40 strategic agreements have been signed with international companies, HP is expanding… Read more »
Dr. L. PETROVICS Ofner
Guest
Dr. L. PETROVICS Ofner

O and lest we forget the predominant theme here, the timely preoccupation with “Politics of Identity,” the building of the ugly and questionable statue on Liberty Square has been nixed and.It will NOT be built. Now that is a MAJOR success.

Ron
Guest

Paul :
Where’s the photo from? It looks staged (judging from the number of people taking photos), and it reminds me very much of similar photos from the London riots of a year or two ago.
In fact, that looks very much like the helmet of a British Bobby in the background!

Paul you are absolutely right.

Here is the link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1328385/TUITION-FEES-PROTEST-Anarchists-cause-chaos-50k-students-streets.html

However, this was about the Tuition fees. The American Nepszava used it as a picture of the MTV Ostrom:

http://nepszava.com/2011/02/magyarorszag/lovetett-volna-a-fidesz-2006-ban.html

tappanch
Guest

@Ofner

“over 40 strategic agreements have been signed with international companies”

So what is in these secret + PR agreements? You pay Fidesz and Fidesz will not impose a retroactive, targeted extraordinary tax on you?

tappanch
Guest

The final data about January gross debt is out.

It is an all-time record, 22844.2 billion HUF, 14.6% above the May 31, 2010 number.

The Orban government also spent the nationalized private retirement funds completely.
It is a debt towards future retirees.

If the spent retirement funds are counted, the debt has increased by 29.4% in the last less than 4 years.

tappanch
Guest

On February 21, the debt was 22,934.8 billion HUF, a new record.

andy - Ösződ -- and the campaign
Guest

I beg to differ with Eva: my opinion is totally different regarding Ösződ.

Any time Orban and Co MENTIONS Ösződ – its a guaranteed “teli találat” – a full hit at the heart of BOTH Gyurcsany AND MSZP. The Ösződ speech was suicidal.

Questions of HOW the tape was leaked is irrelevant to the election at hand.

andy - Dr. Orban doubling the national deficit...
Guest

Tappi, Orban is going NUTS and getting worse by the DAY – hes on a spending binge of unheard of proportions. First the billion dollar agreement to borrow from Russia, now a work of art for many millions of Euros.

And he campaigned on reducing the national deficit and from one day to the other hes moving to ‘DOUBLING’ it…

Nádás
Guest

HiBoM, Lajos Bokros is and forever will be tainted in the minds of Hungarians by the infamous “Bokros csomag” of economic austerity reforms (1994?). Of course, the “package” wasn’t his invention, but he was willing to attach his name to it after his (MSzP?) predecessor refused and resigned, if I recall correctly. As a reward, he was later given a position, I believe, with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

And just as a point of clarification, I think Gyurcsány was forced to resign as Prime Minister before he had completed a full four years in office. (I wasn’t living in Hungary at that time.)

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

I agree with andy, HiBoM and Paul. The opposition should go away from this subject asap. Counter-attacking may please their core base, but the longer it lingers in the media, the more it will hurt them among the undecided. And the less the issues faced by Hungarians will be debated…

Maxxi
Guest
Dear Mr. Ofner: “GE set up a GE for CEE hub this week in Budapest, over 40 strategic agreements have been signed with international companies, HP is expanding by 2000 new staff, Hungary through 2020 is getting one of the largest shares of EU funding, tourism is up 20% in Budapest, one of the only cities to boast two (2) Michelin restaurants, we have 60% of the European market on dental tourism, our Spas are rated among the foremost in all the world, Gellért first, Rudas 4th. And as is the want in England or Maine, 🙂 as the election rolls around high profile building repairs of sidewalks and bus stops give much work to loads of people.” It looks like you are not big on finance and business. That’s all right. Not everybody is. Let me explain. Although I can also quote Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” In any economy companies need to continually invest, make capital expenditures, because there is a concept called depreciation, ie. tear and wear. Moreover, technologies get obsolete (even if those technologies could be run, operated in theory)… Read more »
petofi
Guest
@HiBoM “…and was a total failure at running the country…” Perhaps. But take into account the Hungarian political reality pre-2010: MSZP and Fidesz were cutting up the pie in whatever percentage–be it 75/25 or 65/35. The takings were there. Now imagine that a do-gooder reformist like Gyurcsany is trying to come along and ‘gum up the works’ with reforms and cutting into the corruption. How is he going to fare under the shrill attacks of Orban from without; and the backstabbing of members of his own party from within. Not well, I would hazard. Gyurcsdany’s lack of success was probably due to this fact. Anyone familiar with the political culture in Hungary would know that corruption is intrinsic: not something practiced on the periphery but the central ambition of government members. Opposing this would be political suicide–hence Oszod. So, once and for all, let’s be clear that Gyurcsany made no ‘errors’ etc. in his speech…he just gave the ‘hunters’ (both MSZP and Fidesz) the ammunition to kill him off with. I am quite surprised that noone on this blog has risen to the challenge of a proposal I have made several times, namely, that the top 10-15 members of the… Read more »
andy - resigned or forced out
Guest

Resigned or forced out – a technical difference only. Gyurcsany opted for the only way out. Did Nixon resign or was he forced out before he was voted out. A matter of political finesse only.

I was out demonstrating for Gyurcsany’s resignation in front of the Parliament with the rest of the furious population. I think Gyurcsany made it impossible for himself to continue.

Ditto for Nixon.

tappanch
Guest

1.
Vice Chairman of National Bank, Mr Gerhardt has spoken about the 100 million state fund to purchase pieces of art.

The money will not be used to buy the Seuso treasure or things that were carried to Russia at the end of ww2.

http://www.portfolio.hu/vallalatok/mutargy/elarulta_az_mnb_mire_koltik_el_a_milliardokat.1.195685.html

2.
Opinion piece by Tamas Gomperz

Orban cynically used the “Jewish card” in 2010 when he made a fuss about an Israeli plane flyover before the election.

He repeats the same tactics now with the Nazi eagle memorial and other actions.

hvg.hu/velemeny.nyuzsog/20140225_Kampanyzsidok

tappanch
Guest

The state school authority KLIK made secret its own lustration report.

http://www.168ora.hu/itthon/hibas-dontesek-sorozata-10-evre-titkositottak-jelentest-124044.html

andy - 40 days to go..Campaign Effectiveness coefficient against Fidesz
Guest

Andy’s Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Opposition’s Election ‘Campaign’… @ 40 days to election

Here’s my most recent evaluation (10 = excellent; 5 = average; 0 = terrible;)
(my scores include a general latent effect)

Effectiveness:
Image created (psychological effect)
— one of some discord between family members…
= 3

Messages created:
Printed hand-out materials
— hardly seen
= 2

Effectiveness of Press-releases and Press-conferences
— nothing worth while
= 2

Advertising (all media)
— not much notable = 2

Internet articles, comments
— = 9

Radio multiplied by relative size of user public reached
= 1 (approx — am not a user)

TV (including ATV’s valiant efforts) multiplied by relative size of user public reached
= 3

Creativity of Messages created
= 0

Generation of Anti-Fidesz mood
= 0

Generation of positive Pro-Összefogás new messages
= 0

Defense, fielding of Attacks from Fidesz
= 2

TOTAL AVE: about 2 out of 10 points…

‘Guys’, this is what we GOT – a lousy 2/10

andy - 40 days to go..addendum-1
Guest

Add to that, newspaper and magazine articles – multiplied by relative public reached:
— 3

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